LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE (Agnès Varda, 2000)

Ten years after the death of spouse Jacques Demy, the restoration of whose work (including the gorgeous, poignant 1964 musical Umbrellas of Cherbourg) she has tirelessly supervised, Belgian-born Agnès Varda has arrived at her own masterpiece. It’s a road picture (“a wandering-road documentary,” Varda has called it), as was her stunning Vagabond (1985)—only, this time […]

NÓI ALBÍNÓI (Dagur Kári, 2003)

A droll, humane, gentle comedy about a 17-year-old boy’s coming of age in a remote fjord village, Dagur Kári’s Nói albínói, from Iceland, reminds me, because of its sweetness perhaps, a little of Tex (Tim Hunter, 1982), a more densely plotted coming-of-age story about a teenaged boy. Both Tex McCormick and Nói Kristmundsson are motherless, […]

JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (Stanley Kramer, 1961)

A shallow, stupid film, producer-director Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg is also compulsively watchable—a lightheaded entertainment about the Holocaust and international justice, with musical interludes. It’s a silly film, to be sure, but, given the gravity of the issues it touches upon, it’s a deeply offensive one, too. The script, by Abby Mann, is based […]

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (Robert Aldrich, 1962)

Robert Aldrich, the rotund, soft-looking but thoroughly macho director of such virile, violent and powerful films as The Big Knife (1955), Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and the Depression-set allegory Emperor of the North Pole (1973), had a second career as fillmmaker with a string of half-baked, bizarre and no less violent “women’s pictures” such as […]

THE NAKED KISS (Samuel Fuller, 1964)

Written, produced and directed by ace maverick American filmmaker Samuel Fuller, The Naked Kiss is a strange, highly expressive, intensely personal piece that resides somewhere betwixt hospital soap opera and sex crime melodrama, and betwixt Bertolt Brecht and the Marquis de Sade. It’s a movie of terrific shots and extraordinary set-pieces that hasn’t quite found […]